The goal of exercising is to be in the best shape you can be. To get the most out of your training, your body needs to be able to move, bend, twist – in other words, you have to be relatively flexible.
Not to worry if you’re not as bendy as a gymnast! Flexibility and mobility can be trained. Mobility refers to your ability to move freely without stress on the body. Being flexible depends on the range of motion (ROM) of your muscles. For example: if you can actively lift your leg up high, you are mobile: you need to have the strength and the range of motion in the joint to do this. If you can split (passively), you are flexible: you don’t need muscle strength to do this, just flexible joints and tendons.
With mobility training, you can keep your body fit and healthy for a very long time to come.
How mobility drills work
Mobility drills are exercises that promote agility and suppleness by taking the muscles, tendons, and joints through a full range of motion. These exercises intend to increase your quality and efficiency of motion. When you have great mobility your training will be better form: which means less injuries, and more effective training. A flexible person may not necessarily have core strength, balance, or coordination to perform the same functional movements as the person with great mobility.
Mobility training can improve the range of motion of your joints and muscles and your posture too.
Train your core
Start to train your core (muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen) as this will ultimately improve your mobility. When your spine is stable, the hips and shoulders don’t need to hold tension, which allows them to move more freely. This will decrease your chances of injury, keep you strong and your joints healthy.
First things first… stand tall with good posture!
Lift one arm forward then take it backwards in a continuous circling motion, keep your spine long throughout. Do this arm circling movement a number of times before repeating with the other arm. Avoid the tendency to bend your spin while doing the circling movement. Breathe throughout.
Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Slightly bend your knees and rest your hands on your hips. Bend slowly to one side, come back to the vertical position and then bend to the other side. Don’t lean forward or backward.
Raise your right shoulder towards your right ear, pull it backwards, down and then up again in a smooth rhythm. Do this a number of times and repeat with the other shoulder.
For balance, hold your hands out in front of you. Bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Keep your back long throughout the movement, and look straight ahead. Make sure that your knees always point in the same direction as your toes. When you’re at your lowest point, straighten your legs fully to return to the starting position. Repeat and control your breathing.